Kenya’s former athletics body vice president banned for life

David Okeyo has denied any wrongdoing, saying that the money was legitimate payment for personal expenses and expertise, and for payments made to athletes.

A former vice president and secretary-general of Athletics Kenya (AK) has been banned from the sport for life and fined $50,000 after he was found guilty of diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars of sponsorship payments for his personal use.

David Okeyo, who has also served in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council, was under investigation alongside Joseph Kinyua, a former Treasurer of Athletics Kenya over alleged misappropriation of funds from sportswear company Nike, between 2003 and 2015.

In a 74-page judgement released on Thursday, the Board found that on many occasions Okeyo did not disclose to AK the withdrawals of the Nike money he made from AK bank accounts and he could also not show any evidence of what the money had been used for.

He was thus found to have breached the ethics code on 10 occasions after taking sponsorship money that “could have been better directed to support the development of the sport of athletics in Kenya” and expelled him from his position on the IAAF Council.

He was ordered to pay the $50,000 fine to AK.

Kinyua was found by the board to have “engaged in similar conduct” but as he was not an IAAF official at the time, it was deemed that he was not bound by the ethics rules in place at the time and hence he escaped sanction.

The two men, along with former AK President Isaiah Kiplagat, were provisionally suspended at the end of 2015. Kiplagat has since died and consequently the ethics board dropped its investigation into his activities.

Okeyo and Kinyua deny wrongdoing, saying that the money was legitimate payment for their own expenses and expertise and for payments they personally made to athletes.